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Keeping it cool: A look at causes of motor overheating

  • March 2015
  • Number of views: 721
  • Article rating: No rating

Much has been written in EASA publications and elsewhere about the consequences of excessive temperature on a motor’s performance. We know that excessive temperature and moisture are the largest contributors to bearing and winding failures. Understanding the source of the increased temperature will help us to correct the problem and improve the machine’s life expectancy.

A chart included in this article illustrates the theoretical impact of increased temperature on the life of the motor insulation system. This chart only addresses the impact of thermal aging and not various other conditions that will affectthe motor’s life. In other words, it says that for every 10ºC increase in operating tem-perature, the expected life is reduced by one-half. Conversely, if we can re-duce the temperature of the motor by 10ºC, we can expect the life to double. Note that this is true at any point on the curve. However, there is the rule of diminishing returns: at some point the cost of designing and operating a motor to run cooler out-weighs the benefts of doing so.  Here we will explore some of the factors that con-tribute to increased temperature.

Topics covered include:

  • Overload
  • Ventilation
  • Voltage
  • Electrical steel (core iron)
  • Current density
  • Circulating currents
  • Harmonics

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Getting The Most From Your Electric Motors

Getting The Most From Your Electric Motors - coverThis 40-page booklet provides a great marketing tool for your service center! Use it to provide end users with information that will help them obtain the longest, most efficient and cost-effective operation from general and definite purpose electric motors.

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EASA Technical Manual

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The EASA Technical Manual is the association's definitive and most complete publication. It's available FREE to members in an online format. Members can also download PDFs of the entire manual or individual sections.

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ANSI/EASA AR100-2015

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Recommended Practice for the Repair of Rotating Electrical Apparatus
This is a must-have guide to the repair of rotating electrical machines. Its purpose is to establish recommended practices in each step of the rotating electrical apparatus rewinding and rebuilding processes.

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